From Agaju Madugba, Katsina
Katsina State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari, has described the recent High Court judgment in Rivers State on VAT as capable of causing chaos across the states of the Federation vowing that, “we will resist its implementation.”
The Governor also campaigned for a review of the current revenue sharing formula which he described as unfair and unjust as it gives more resources to the Federal Government to the detriment of the states and Local Governments.
Masari spoke on Tuesday when a delegation from the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) paid him a sensitisation visit at the Government House.
According to Masari, “we have heard the judgment of the state High Court in Rivers and we have appealed against that judgment.
“It means people will begin to pay double VAT because if you pay VAT in Kano, at the point of departure it means when you come to Katsina you pay another VAT.
“If you pay VAT in Lagos it means you also pay VAT all along the way until you reach your destination.
“II will bring a lot of burden on the people. That judgment is not fair.
“It is other parts of the country that make Lagos and Rivers states what they are.
“We have to work together as a nation and come up with something that will work for all of us.”
On the estant revenue allocation formula, Masari insisted that there is no justification for allocating over 50 per cent to the Federal Government when in reality the people who deserve such funds are in the states and Local Government Areas.
As the Governor put it, “from 1999 to date, we have not been able to come up with a new revenue allocation formula despite constitutional provisions to do so.
“The formula has become stagnant. It is lopsided, it puts more resources at the centre and less resources for states and Local Governments.
“The burden and responsibilities of daily needs are at states and Local Government levels.
“The Federal Government has various revenue-earning parastatals and some of them do not contribute to the Federation Account but it is the consolidated revenue of the Federal Government and this revenue is not shared.
“The current formula has given the Federal government over 50 per cent while states and Local Governments share less than 40 per cent.
“This where the people are, this is where the problems are.
“State governments partly fund Federal Government agencies in the states because each time they come here they ask us for money.
“Under the current formula, the responsibilities of the Federal Government with regards to its functions under the Constitution are not adequately being taken care of.
“This formula is stale, unfair, unjust and there has to be a change to address realities of today and prepare us for tomorrow.”
Earlier, a Federal Commissioner at the RMAFC, Kabir Muhammad Mashi, who led the delegation said that they were in Katsina on a sensitisation mission over a possible review of the existing Vertical Revenue Allocation Formula.
“The sensitisation exercise has been designed to enlist the interest of stakeholders through interactions at various levels in order to make useful input that can provide workable template to assist the Commission in its onerous task of evolving and bequeathing to the nation, a fair, just and equitable new revenue sharing formula,” he said.